Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India | 23rd April 2020: WayCool Foods has leveraged its sourcing and supply chain network in more than 50 locations in South India including the cities of Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad and Bengaluru through partnerships and collaborations to boost delivery of essentials during the current lockdown due to COVID-19 crisis.
In order to ensure continued supply of essentials like staples, vegetables, and fruits, WayCool collaborated with multiple partners to reach customers directly, reaching both apartment complexes and individual homes. The company partnered with Zomato, Swiggy & Dunzo in Chennai, Coimbatore & Bengaluru, FreshCura & HESA in Hyderabad, and with Meesho in Chennai for last mile deliveries. Maintaining social distancing while servicing apartment complexes, the company also ensured timely supplies to several elderly citizens who had directly reached out to the company on its call center number and social handles.
Addressing the next challenge of continued supplies to general trade stores to support thousands of small business owners, the company put together a dedicated 20 member call center team to check over phone, the stock status at over 15,000 general trade stores, and door-step delivery supplies to every one of them that was open.
On the procurement side, WayCool has been continuously working to re-establish its supply chain links between farmers and end users. The company, with a strong base of more than 40,000 farmers, has been taking adequate safety precautions against the pandemic for several weeks prior to the lockdown and was reasonably well prepared when the lockdown was announced. WayCool continues to honour its purchase commitments to farmers with uninterrupted sourcing from their Outgrow farmers and are also sourcing from farmers who have directly reached them.
Karthik Jayaram, CEO & Co-founder, WayCool said, “We have doubled down on the channels that remain open e.g. general trade and our sale into smaller towns. We have also worked with local authorities and NGOs on innovative models e.g. kitting of fresh produce and sale to communities that do not have access to supplies.”
Currently, WayCool is moving more than 250 tonnes of produce per day across major cities in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Kerala. It has also reached out to more than more 12,000 families across several residential complexes and have delivered about 34,000 different kits (comprising of staples, vegetables, and fruits) to those in need, through NGOs and government sources.
Earlier this year, WayCool has secured Series C funding INR 230 Crore which was led by Lightbox and saw participation from FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial bank, and LGT Lightstone Aspada. The latest funding is being deployed to automate its supply chain and build the next layer of data analytics to strengthen supply chain efficiency. The fund will also be used to develop and expand value-added product range to enterprise and retail customers.